Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Heights

Peter Hedges' book The Heights is what I consider women's fiction (even though the author is a man....this is throwing me off a bit). Set in the affluent Brooklyn Heights of New York City, Kate and Tim Welch are married with two young boys, living in a tiny apartment. When Anna Brody, the super rich half of the new couple in The Heights arrives, things begin to change for Tim and Kate. For whatever reason, Anna decides to invite Tim and Kate into her world, making them the envy of many. While this is the main plot in The Heights, many subplots including Tim's dad's retirement from his high profile basketball coaching position, a student's crush on Tim/Mr. Welch, Kate's new role as a career woman while Tim stays home with the boys, and Kate's ex-boyfriend's appearance also round on this story.
While much of the book is narrated by Tim and Kate, there are chapters interspersed that are narrated by Mr Welch's crush, Bea, and Kate's ex-boyfriend. While I was expecting Kate or Tim to narrate the ending of what is clearly their story, Hedges had Bea write the ending. The last chapter is told in her words, explaining what she thinks happened. I am still thinking about this - how clever Bea's narration was, because this left some room for readers to imagine a bit of their own ending.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Heights and am happy to see that Hedges has written other books I can explore.


Peter said...

Dear Tina,

Thank you for your kind words about THE HEIGHTS. It's much appreciated.

Best Wishes,

Peter Hedges

Ti said...

So interesting because from the cover, I would never have guessed this one to be Women's Fiction.

Jan von Harz said...

Your review really has me interested in the book. I was surprised that you liked the ending even though the narration was through someone else's eyes not the main characters. Great review.